The importance of retaining clients | Macro

The importance of retaining clients

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By Bill Heath, Managing Director, Macro International

When clients entrust us to deliver a quality Facilities Management project, we aim to provide proactive professional support at all times. It’s testament to us that the service is working, when a client renews a contract. During my 30 years in FM, I have found the following to be true: 

Retaining vs attaining - It often takes ten times the effort to win a new project than to retain one. To maintain a good relationship with your client, go above and beyond what is required of you – don’t just do what you’re asked to do. 

Be proactive – Take action before you’re asked to do something. This should be second-nature.

And if there’s a failure, react immediately. Things will go wrong, but it’s how you deal with a situation that matters. 

Be solutions-orientated – Don’t focus on the problems, focus on the solutions. Everything can be dealt with, no matter how big or small the issue is. React quickly but make sure you’re offering a quality solution, not a quick-fix. 

Be flexible – The relationship between the client and service provider needs to flexible. Although you have an agreement in place, don’t be too rigid. Keep an eye out for other areas where you can contribute. By being attentive and listening to the client’s needs, you will add more value. 

Build trust – Understand your clients and their values and ensure your service provision fits within their company culture. Showing that you understand your clients and that you care about their needs, helps to build trust. 

Gain feedback - Listen to, and gain feedback from your client, and then react accordingly. Regular communication with both the client and your team should help raise any issues. Don’t stop making an effort because you have won a contract; view a new commission as the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship. 

Think like the client – What would you want from your service provider, if you were the client? Think like a client, not a supplier. This should be routine. 

Be approachable – Put a face to a name and be approachable. Don’t hide behind emails. Find some common ground and make sure you can relate to your client’s business, values and long-term objectives. 

Team work - It’s often said that FM is about people and it is: it’s about well-functioning teams who, together, make a contract run smoothly. A renewed or extended contract is a great reminder for the team that they are meeting the client’s needs. At Macro, we all support each other in the goal of client retention. 

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